MANILA - Filipino figure skater and rising star Michael Christian Martinez is still adjusting to his newfound fame as he returned to the Philippines with yet another medal to add to his collection.
In an interview with reporters, the 17-year-old Winter Olympian remained humble when asked about his recent win, in which he bested six other international ice skaters in Slovenia.
"Sobrang saya despite na nanggaling ako sa injuries. Hindi ko in-expect, we were hoping na maka-medal, pero 'yun nga, nagwagi," he admitted.
Martinez scored a combined total of 195.15 at the Triglav Trophy earlier this month, five points higher than second placer Kenji Tanaka of Japan, despite harboring a slight ligament tear.
"Still there, masakit pa rin kasi tumatalon ka, nandoon pa rin talaga 'yung pain," he said.
But he was all smiles when he was reminded of all his supporters in the country who cannot wait to see him train for another tournament in Dubai this May.
"Maraming salamat sa mga supporters ko dito sa Pilipinas. Sobrang na-inspire ako noong nalaman ko na marami nang sumusporta sa akin. Lalo ako nagpu-push na mag-train," he said.
When asked about tips to share with the surge of aspiring figure skaters, Martinez had one simple answer: "Dream high."